Halfway the trip… halfway our luck?

It warmed up in the Arctic today and we noticed! For the first time I did not have frost inside my jacket or clumps of ice hanging from the fur in my hood. The inner soles of my Baffin boots were not frozen neither were the zippers of my outside pockets. All this to a […]

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The Arctic changed in a very frightened way

A journalist asked me for a few days ago if I can see the difference here at the North Pole between 2007 and this year. I had a think about it because you are here so briefly in one area at a specific time of the year so any observations I can make and compare […]

It’s like walking in a glass of milk

The weather report of today (thanks Helga van Leur and Mark Drinkwater) finely came through. Warmer temperatures (-28C), snow and wind from the southwest, luckily in our backs. Navigating becomes challenging in this kind of weather, you don’t know what north or south is or up and down. The sky and surface all blend into […]

Tracks on the ice… We are not alone here

Once in a while the Arctic throws something at you which makes you stop in your tracks and you need a  moment to comprehend what just happens. Today we had such a moment. Still being unbearable cold, the first hour out of the tent is the moment of the naked  truth – rested, warm and […]

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Our first important milestone

A milestone today – skied 1/2 degree of latitude. Victor Serov who I call into every night with our position is really happy with our progress: ” You are doing very well Bernice and you are doing science” is his encouraging response every time I call in. I imagine he is sitting in a tent […]

non-sexy, unglamorous, protocol

Every 2 kilometers we stop to measure snow. Sometimes we would rather ignore this science because stopping and doing 10 measurements, writing down coordinates and snow depths is tedious, and time consuming. We know that this kind of science is non-sexy, unglamorous but perhaps one of the most important contributions to understanding the arctic. After […]

A little green sledge is my life support

I don’t want to keep banging on about the hardships up here and I will say that they’re far less than what real Polar explorers endured a hundred years ago and more. The pressure of the environment, however, remains the same. This little green sledge is my life support system. Without all the kit – […]

Being cold… Very cold

Rather optimistic this morning, Martin poked his head out of the tent and reported it was not as cold as the day before. Sure, we know that coming from a warm tent everything is relative even being cold but the idea of skiing and not having to deal with frostbites of our hands or feet […]

It’s dangerously cold, day and night

The first few days of a polar expedition are usually the coldest and with the sledge at maximum weight the first few tugs over the smallest of lumps seem disproportionately hard. Trying to describe what it’s like to be here in order to help someone who hasn’t is like explaining what wine…. or beer tastes […]

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NASA overflight happened today!

Today was a great demonstration of total collaboration between many parties all wanting to achieve the same objective; measuring the arctic sea ice. When Martin and I got invited to an ESA meeting in January we met Nathan of NASA who told us about the Icebridge campaign and their new flight route over Svalbard in […]